On Loving the Nations

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Whenever I think of some of the things I’m most thankful for in life, one that always pops up right away is the opportunity to have spent a good amount of time in beautiful countries like South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

There’s a really special beauty that shines in places that have known struggle, suffering, and loss. The hardships are very real, but so is the light.

God loves the nations, and I’m so thankful that He’s also shared that love with me. It’s a big part of my life to share that love with other people, too. When you’ve connected with new friends across a cultural line, the experience speaks for itself.

There are some things that will hold us back from making this connection, though. Pity. That’s one. A sense of superiority. That’s another. These come through every time I hear someone carelessly assume my friends are “primitive,” every time I get a warning about terrorism in countries that are technically safer than the U.S., and it’s like nails on chalkboard. This is usually a reflection of what’s inside, though.

If your heart is full of fear, then you believe you live in a world full of danger. If your heart is full of anger, then you believe everyone not on your side of an imaginary line is out to get you. If your heart is full of love, you’ll rush across those lines to share a party, a moment, or a meal.

Want a heart that erupts kindness? Make friends across different nations. Whenever you get the opportunity to do so, don’t turn it down. It’s your gift.

Philippe Lazaroon1